Two people in Flathead County have died due to circumstances related to influenza, according to the Flathead City-County Health Department.
Both people were over the age of 65.
“Due to the confirmed influenza presence in Flathead County, it is now more important than ever to be vaccinated against influenza to protect everyone, including the most vulnerable populations,” the health department said in a press release.
The department recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get the flu vaccine. Vaccination is especially important for people who are at a high risk for serious complications from influenza, including:
• People 65 years and older
• Children younger than 5, but especially those younger than 2
• People with certain chronic health conditions such as asthma and COPD, diabetes (both type 1 and 2), heart disease, neurological conditions, and those with weakened immune systems
• Pregnant women
Symptoms of the flu are: fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, and, especially in children, stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. People usually become ill one to three days after being infected. Complications can include pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and a worsening of other chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, and congestive heart failure.
The health department said people can prevent transmitting the flu by covering their coughs, washing their hands frequently, and staying home when feeling ill. The virus spreads via coughing and sneezing, as well as by touching something infected and then touching one’s mouth or nose.
Most adults are infectious one day before they have symptoms and until five to seven days after becoming ill.
For more information, visit flatheadhealth.org.